General Question

nikipedia's avatar

Would you accept this gift?

Asked by nikipedia (27475points) September 23rd, 2008

(Consider this a follow up to this question: http://www.fluther.com/disc/22933/when-you-accept-a-gift-from-someone-are-you-tacitly-stating/)

A wealthy friend of mine recently lost a bet with me. The terms of the bet stated that if I won, he would buy me a BMW. Can I actually permit him to go through with this?

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54 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Just out of curiosity, what was your side? He put up a BMW…?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@shilolo beat me to it!

bodyhead's avatar

You can accept it but he will probably expect sex from you.

syz's avatar

No. I wouldn’t accept a gift of such value. Even if initially offered freely, it will cause problems down the line.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Also consider the tax implications. You’d have to declare it on your taxes and pay huge fees.

jlm11f's avatar

I would not accept it. And i would never agree to buy anyone a BMW (or something along those lines) for a silly bet. If he is willing to pay up, he either really likes you/wants sex from you or he has a bad sense of money management. it is much more likely that it’s the former reason

nikipedia's avatar

If the friend was female or gay, would your answers be different?

I don’t think the bet itself is important. I was kidding when I suggested the BMW. He, apparently, was not kidding when he agreed to it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

A beamer, no.
A Hybrid, YES!

autumn43's avatar

Is there a rule about him buying a Matchbox or Hotwheels BMW?

shilolo's avatar

My friend and I routinely bet a million dollars on things. Doesn’t mean we are serious, or I would be a multimillionaire right now…

EmpressPixie's avatar

isn’t giving cars to people how Oprah got in trouble? it ended up costing the recipients a ton of money?

jlm11f's avatar

No, my answer would not change if the friend was female or gay. Personally, I am just not comfortable with such an expensive gift. And maybe it’s just me, but regardless of their sex, orientation etc, i would have to decline. Now of course, I would be the first person to say “forget the bmw. but we are going out tonight and YOU are buying me dinner as payback :P”

dalepetrie's avatar

If he wants to buy it for you, let him. You have no legal or moral obligation to do anything. Yes if he buys you a brand new, expensive BMW you might have to pay taxes on it, but if it’s worth less than $10k (like say a used one), you’re fine there too. And so what if you do, if you can’t afford the taxes, sell it, pay the taxes and pocket the rest. Morally, if you had lost the bet, what would you have had to put up, and would you have paid off the bet? That’s the only important thing that I see. If you wouldn’t have welched on your side of the bet, then it’s acceptable to accept the BMW. If you were joking and would not have paid up on your side had you lost, you can only say, look…I was kidding, I had no intention of paying you if you won, I didn’t think you intended to pay me if I won, therefore I can not accept such a gift. If he wants to buy you the gift anyway, you can do what you want, but as long as you make your position clear, you are morally in the clear. And even if he expects something from you in return, doesn’t mean you have to give it. I’d just make sure that if he gave you the car, you get something in writting saying that this is a gift given freely with no strings attached.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Technically it’s not a “GIFT” it’s the earned prize from your bet.

Congrats! You Won!!!

Hip hip hooray for nikipedia!

BronxLens's avatar

Can someone comment on the legal aspect of the ‘promise’ versus the requirements for the payment to take effect? How do real expectations from both parties weight on this issue? Were you to say ok, would he be in a legal obligation then to pay up? Or could he force you to accept the payment regardless of you accepting it or not?

basp's avatar

If you are not comfortable accepting such a gift and he is serious about settling up then you might want to agree on a charity to donate the $$ to.

(you might consider the basp retirement charity :) )

JackAdams's avatar

I once bet a guy $10,000 on something, and I lost the bet, on a technicality.

I paid up, and gave him $10,000 in genuine American currency, exactly as I promised.

cak's avatar

Holy crap. My friends and I bet things all the time….......rarely do we actually collect.

No, I wouldn’t want to collect the car – gift or prize, I’d be stuck with some hefty taxes, that just sucks. Bragging rights don’t carry a tax and can last a lot longer!

flameboi's avatar

just curious, but what was the bet for?
For me, I would not accept such gift, I even had problems accepting a Prada shirt (at the end, I didn’t keep it, and that day the friendship I had with that person ended, she could not accept I said no)

Bri_L's avatar

@Autumn43 – You nailed it. The loophole!

robmandu's avatar

Collecting on a bet != accepting a gift.

The only problem with this bet is that it involves a substantial item subject to taxation, reporting, etc.

If you feel the bet was real and serious, and you want the reward, then I say go for it. There’s nothing wrong with being gracious though, and releasing the loser from his obligation.

sorry, computer geek here. fyi: ”!=” means “does not equal”.

Nimis's avatar

Aut: My brother bet a car that I couldn’t beat his SAT score.
I got a Hot Wheels, of course.

Bri_L's avatar

@ robmandu = I had no idea. very cool!

Judi's avatar

Have him buy you a used one under $11,000. He can gift you up to $11,000 tax free.

JackAdams's avatar

You can accept the gift AND avoid paying income taxes on it.

Initiate an arrangement with an attorney, where the car is registered in the guy’s name (so he is the official owner), but you have his permanent permission to use the car, whenever you wish, and to keep it parked at your house.

That way, you will HAVE it at your disposal, but you will not OWN it.

Another problem easily solved, from the mind of Jack Adams!

Judi's avatar

That would be nice but when giving a car away you also want to give away the liability. Still owning it might be an undue burden. You might also tell him (if he insists) that he can rent you a BMW for a month. Then after the month is over he can feel like he fulfilled his end of the bargain and you won’t feel any sense of obligation to him

JackAdams's avatar

Another excellent bit of advice!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I certainly wouldn’t say something like, “hey man! when are you gonna buy me that car you owe me!?!?” but if he was serious about giving it to me, I would probably let him. I guess I’m greedy.

;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

Tell him you’ll let him off with an excellent dinner, and then pick the best, most expensive restaurant you can find, and eat until you want to barf. Afterall, you did win.

Bri_L's avatar

I am still with Autumn43, your going to get a Model of a BMW, or a Matchbox Car BMW, or one made of chocolate.

marinelife's avatar

This is very freighted. No one, and I mean no one, buys someone something like that without expectations.

Ask yourself how you feel if you accepted. Say, he calls two weeks after you get the car wanting to go to dinner. Don’t you feel the teensiest bit obligated having accepted that car? I don’t think I would trust someone who did this. The world is the world. The guy wants in your pants.

I wouldn’t accept it from a woman or gay friend either for slightly different reasons. I just don’t like friendships that unbalanced in any way. One person doing all the spending or gifting. One person doing all the calling or arranging outings. it is just not good.

augustlan's avatar

I could not, in good conscience, accept the car. I would accept some of the other, smaller suggestions others have made (dinner, rental, etc).

nikipedia's avatar

Okay then, another what if: what if this person was a boyfriend instead of a friend? Doesn’t that make all the “he just wants in your pants” arguments irrelevant?

Also I thought the Hot Wheels was the most likely outcome until he started sending me links to actual cars and asking me about preferred body style, color, etc.

autumn43's avatar

Well, a Hotwheels or Matchbox would fit in your pants. ;0)

marinelife's avatar

For me, that would depend on length of the relationship, depth of the relationship, etc. I would not accept such a gift from a guy I felt casual about and did not expect to get serious with.

scamp's avatar

@nikipedia the question is: “What do you want to do? Are you considering accepting the car? If you do, make some clear boundaries first.

tinyfaery's avatar

Committed, long-term, serious relationship? Shit yeah. You’re already giving “it” up, I assume, so why not? Boundaries are good, though. Will it all be in your name? Can you afford the insurance? Things to consider.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I bought my ex GF/fiancĂ© a car. I got stuck paying the bill, insurance, gas, maintenance, etc. It wasn’t bad but when I found out that she was cheating on me and just made me furious. I took the car back. Just know how you want the car.

scamp's avatar

So bought me a car for Christmas 5 years ago .

It was an old honda and he only paid $100.00, ha ha!! It was a great little ‘beater” to get me back and forth from work. I drove it for 3 years before it broke down, then we junked it.

Lightlyseared's avatar

A Honda broke down?!?! I’d get on to the factory about that.

scamp's avatar

It was a pretty old one. It just kind of died in the middle of the road. The tow home cost more than the car, so we decided to junk it. SO thought it was the computer, so he pulled it out to look at it. (Let me add here he is not the mechanic he thinks he is!!) After that, any repairs would have been too costly

ninjaxmarc's avatar

scamp you got your moneys worth then.
100 bucks for three years and all you did was gas and hopefully an oil change.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@scamp that classic line from Stripes comes to mind…

New York Police officer “You can’t park here”
Bill Murray “We’re not parking it. We’re abandoning it!”

augustlan's avatar

So, Niki…give us an update. What have you decided?

nikipedia's avatar

Sigh. I declined.

augustlan's avatar

Niki, I am so proud of you! I am beaming like an idiot, here.

Bri_L's avatar

way to go nicki

jlm11f's avatar

Hope you didn’t decline the dinner. Make sure to take leftovers ;)

scamp's avatar

WTG! you won’t regret it. Your self respect will stay intact, as will his respect for you.

marinelife's avatar

Niki, hooray! Good decision, although I had planned to ask if I could have a ride next time I came to town.

nikipedia's avatar

@Marina: Thanks, but I am no longer in San Francisco and hope you’re never subjected to the OC. If there’s a Fluther meetup in the Bay Area I’ll let you drive my Mazda, though…

marinelife's avatar

Yuck, been to the OC. Not a fan.

Horus515's avatar

OH yeah you should definitely accept that gift. THERE ARE KIDS STARVING IN AFRICA WHO WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THAT BMW!! ...probably just to eat it. Look its not a gift if you won a bet. Let him buy it and try to push him towards an M3. It’s a fun one to drive!

john65pennington's avatar

When he made this bet with you, was he high on acid?

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